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Governing through anti-social behaviour. Regulatory challenges to criminal justice.

Crawford, Adam
June 4, 2015

Source: (2009) British Journal of Criminology. doi:10.1093/bjc/azp041

The ‘ anti-social behaviour ’ agenda in Britain and the introduction of diverse new powers and
regulatory tools represent a major challenge to traditional conceptions of criminal justice. This
article argues that the language of regulation has been appropriated and deployed to cloak and
legitimize ambitious (yet ambiguous) bouts of hyper-active state interventionism. These may have
more to do with quests to demonstrate government’s capacity to be seen to be doing something
tangible about public anxieties than with meaningful behavioural change. Rather, regulatory ideas
are being used to circumvent and erode established criminal justice principles, notably those of due
process, proportionality and special protections traditionally afforded to young people. Consequently,
novel technologies of control have resulted in more intensive and earlier interventions. (author’s abstract)


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